The Civil War was fought before armies issued identification tags to their soldiers. It fell to the will of the men in the ranks to determine how they would mark their uniforms and equipment so someone could tell who they were should they be killed and their bodies left on the battlefield.
One of the many privately purchased forms of identification was a small brass plate with a name and regiment stamped into it. Many examples survive and others have been excavated at locations of Civil War camp sites.
The stencils weren't limited to only soldiers. Men and women back home had stencils cut by large firms and itinerant stencil cutters to mark everything from quilts and books and other personal items.
Now, using an original Spencer "Twenty-Five Dollar Outfit" cutting kit, the New Blazing Star Press revives the 19th century stencil cutting trade with our reproduction stencil plate package.
What's Included In Our Reproduction Stencil Plate Package.
Our reproduction stencil plate package is based on a kit produced during the Civil War by M.J. Metcalf & Son of Boston, Massachusetts. It includes:
One 2.75" x 1.5" brass and zinc stencil with your name and option company and regimental designation stamped using original letter dies.
One 1/2 dram glass cork-top vial of black ink
One 3/8 tin and horsehair bristle stencil brush
An instruction sheet
A handsome sky-blue cardboard paper box
There Are Two Text Options Available for the Stencil Plates.
*Unless specifically requested, all stencils will be cut in mixed case, where the first letter of each word is capitalized, and the remainder of the word is in lower case.*
OPTION ONE: A BRASS STENCIL PLATE WITH ONE LINE OF TEXT
Up to 15 Characters
The most common stencil cut for men and women to mark their personal items. People with long names typically abbreviated first and middle names, or used initials -
i.e. "G. Washington" or "M. Wollstonecraft".
OPTION TWO: A BRASS STENCIL PLATE WITH TWO LINES OF TEXT
Up to 15 Characters Per Line
The soldier's stencil. The first line is the name, typically without rank, and the second line indicated Company, Regiment, and, on occasion, Branch. Some surviving stencils mark the second line as:
23rd N. Jersey Inf. Co. F 5th REG. N.J.V.
11th N.Y. Vol. I CO. G. 131 P.V.
20th Mass. Vols. Co. A. 17th N.H.V.
Co. A. 36 WIS. VOL. Co. E. 146 N.Y.S.V.
One 2.875" x 1.5" brass and zinc stencil with two lines of up to 15 characters per line, stamped using original letter dies, with a 1/2 dram glass cork-top vial of black ink, one 3/8 tin and horsehair bristle stencil brush, instruction sheet, and handsome sky-blue cardboard paper box.